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By | September 6, 2000

      Italy’s Profit Group plans to launch five thematic free-to-air satellite TV channels. So far, Profit has mainly concentrated its activities in the terrestrial TV sector – it owns local broadcasters TLC Telecampi-one and Sei Milano, the Junior TV (JT) and national TV channel ReteMia.

      However, Italy’s Communication Ministry has not renewed ReteMia’s broadcasting licence, due to uncertainties regarding the channel’s ownership structure. The ministry has asked ReteMia to prove that it not controlled by US-based Home Shopping Network, but rather by Italian and European investors. The sale of ReteMia, promised by Profit to HOT Italia for L30 billion, will thus depend on the renewal of the eight and last available national TV licences. For its part, Profit’s roup president, Raimondo Lagostena, is of the opinion that general entertainment syndication has no more sense – instead local broadcasters should be offered a thematic offering not longer than three hours, which can easily blend with normal programming. The best example of this new format is JT – Profit pays those broadcasters, which rebroadcast JT’s programmes and shares the advertising revenue through a specially devised formula.

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